Read Before Swimming: Tips To Swim Safely

By: Sherelle Roberts Email
By: Sherelle Roberts Email

Before you head to the pool this Memorial Day weekend, it's best to brush up on your pool ettiquite. That's because the Centers For Disease Control is warning not following the rules could lead to the spread of germs and viruses.

Although urine in the water probably will not cause swimmers to go to the emergency room, it causes "more of a respiratory, ocular irritation: the red puffy eyes or a cough, an itchy throat," said Michele Hlavsa, an epidemiologist in the division of parasitic diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."A big health message is not to urinate or pee in the water."

And it happens far more frequently than water-lovers would like to think.

In a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in April and May, 17 percent admitted relieving themselves in a swimming pool. Even the Olympics' most decorated swimmer, Michael Phelps, confessed to urinating in the water to TV host Jimmy Kimmel. In a 2008 interview, Kimmel asked the 14-gold medal winner, "You pee in the pool, true?"

"Yeah," Phelps replied.

"Which nationality pees in the pool the most?" Kimmel asked.

"Probably Americans," Phelps said.

"Oh, so we're number one in that too," Kimmel quipped.

So here are some rules to swim by.

1. Dont' swim if you are sick. A runny nose, cough, or recent bout with diarrhea can contaminte the water. If someone swallows the water you blew your nose in--or worse--it can make them very sick.

2. Wear proper swim wear. If you have a baby who needs a diaper, please put them in a swim diaper. This will help to avoid any waste getting in the pool water.

3. Shower before swimming. Rinsing with soap and water can help prevent the spread of germs.

4. Don't go potty in the pool. Using the restroom in the water is a very common, and easy way to contaminate the pool. If someone relieves themselves, it's very likely someone else will swallow that water before the chlorine can kill all of the germs.


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